Wednesday, December 31

Good-bye 2003, Hello 2004

Every year I make New Year's resolutions. I had intended to write this entry and point out that considering how few I keep that there's really not much point of my making new ones. Yet, as I revisit last year's resolutions (which I haven't looked at since last January 1; if I'm going to go to the bother of making these resolutions, then I really should revisit them mid-year to see how I'm doing), I find that I actually managed to keep a surprising amount of them (meaning, more than one of them). True, some came about by accident, but nonetheless, they stuck. Here are the highlights (I've left out some of the more mundane and embarrassing ones, although I did get some of those done, too) and how I did:
  1. Revise ten pages of my novel a month or do the equivalent in background writing, if needed (character sketches, timelines, research) Yeah, not even close on this one. But it's a good one. Might as well keep this one in for next year.
  2. Eat more fiber This was an easy one. But, no, didn't do that one either.
  3. With the exception of the Jazz Fest trip, no alcohol for the year. Ding, ding, ding! I have a winner (more or less)! Of course, being pregnant helped this one considerably, but I can count on one hand the number of drinks I had in 2003, so I count this as a success.
  4. Visit New York at least three times (it's so darn close and I'm just too lazy for not going. There are too many people there I want to stay in closer touch with). Well, I was 2/3 successful on this one. Which makes me slightly annoyed because Adam and I were going to make an impromptu trip to NY this past weekend, but we had a prior commitment we couldn't get out of, so we decided to wait. Unfortunately, that means the trip will be in 2004 and won't count toward this resolution. Had I just looked at these resolutions a week earlier....
  5. Read the news section of the Sunday New York Times before the style section. I kept this one up until the third trimester when the hormones made the front section way too depressing. I'm now just starting to read it again.
  6. Get pregnant. Who knew? Turns out I had fulfilled this one even before this list was written, I just didn't figure it out for a few more days.
So for this year, I'll once again stay mum about the majority of my resolutions. I will say there is the requisite writing resolution (this year with a more doable goal since I have to factor in less free time), there's the healthier eating resolution (no desserts/sweets Sunday night through Friday afternoon [except for holidays]; I did this a few years ago with alcohol, and it worked out great), there's the exercise resolution (I'll be running a marathon this year), and assorted resolutions having to do with the Doodlebug. I'll give you the highlights a year from now if I've accomplished any of them (and even if I didn't). In the meantime, Adam, the Doodlebug, and I will have a quiet night in. I'm making the Mary Cantwell's Steak in Champagne recipe from last Sunday's New York Times magazine, Adam's got a special dessert he'll be working on, and we'll be popping a bottle of bubbly Adam got many years ago in France (hope it's still good!). Hope all of you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a peaceful new year.

The Last Random Thoughts of 2003

  • Adam and I have decided that we're just going to make a list now of all the things the Doodlebug is going to want to discuss in therapy when he gets older. It'll save him the trouble of having to remember everything himself.
  • More proof that the Doodlebug won't become a MacArthur Fellow anytime soon: He loves to suck on hands. His own. His mother's. His father's. Anyone within a three-foot radius of his stroller. But he's easily confused on how to get said hand into his mouth. He'll take someone else's hand in both his hands. But his left hand will pull the hand in while his right pushes it away. So the hand is in drool limbo as it gets close enough to his mouth to get a nice dousing before his other hand shoves it away. The Doodlebug is befuddled! He sees the hand. He's holding the hand. Yet the hand is nowhere near his mouth! The agitation grows. He wants that hand! Oh, to gnaw on that hand! Finally, the holder of the hand must show mercy and overrule the hand pushing it away and find its own way to the Doodlebug's mouth. As a friend once said, someday our child will be smarter than monkey. I hope.
  • The Doodlebug is showing some definite improvements in other areas. For one, he's taken well to solid foods. For another, he's started laughing! What a wonderful sound! Doodlebug laughter.
  • Of course, there are some not-so-wonderful improvements. Like the teething. It's exciting to know that someday our Doodlebug will be able to do some damage if he ever learns to guide the hand into his mouth, but in the meantime, the screaming isn't that much fun. And he's turned into a fountain of drool. But I could live with that. What I'm having a hard time with is that he's using me as a teether. During breastfeeding. Ouch.
  • I find it disturbing that the Doodlebug's Baby Mozart DVD has a "Play Once" and a "Repeat Play" option. Repeat? That's simply evil.
  • One of my New Year's resolutions is to purge. No, not my stomach. My stuff. I hold on to way too much crap for sentimental value (my new favorite show is Clean Sweep). I need to start ditching things that I no longer use no matter who it came from or what memories I have attached to it. I've gotten to a pretty good start, but there's one object I'm having a very hard time parting with. For Hanukkah, I got the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Oh, how exciting! So many new words! But I've had my 10th edition for, well, ten years now. The Tweedle Twirp bought it for me when it was brand new. I'm emotionally attached to that dictionary. All those wonderful words I've looked up! I can't seem to part with it. So now I have two dictionaries. Which makes me already behind in my New Year's resolutions.
  • I got Adam the first season of The Office on DVD for Hanukkah. Besides the fact that the show is hilarious (and we can't watch it on TV because we no longer get BBC America), the amazing thing about this set is we can understand it! We just turned on the subtitles and no longer do we have to ask, "What did he just say?" "What is with that accent? I missed that whole exchange." We've decoded British English! And you know what? The show is even funnier when you know what's going on.

Like Father, Like Son

As usual (as I'm writing this, which is different from when I post it) Adam's asleep on the couch and the Doodlebug is asleep in his car seat (the only place he'll now sleep besides right next to me). Our nightly ritual is for me to wake Adam up to go to bed. This night, though, I was up late (okay, late for me; it's past midnight now), and I shook Adam and said, "It's time to go to bed. Why'd you let me stay up so late?" And he replied, "I told you this morning, it would take fourteen or two years." Ah, this game. I play along. "Fourteen or two years for what?" "No, fourteen weeks or two years." "For what?" "For the dress!" By this time he's exasperated with me. "The dress for what?" "The dress, the dress. For the whatchamacallit." "I don't remember for what it's for. You tell me. " "I don't remember." Proving he's awake he peers over at the Doodlebug and asks me, "Is he supposed to be awake?" I turn around and sure enough, the Doodlebug is wide-eyed. I look back at Adam, and he's already back asleep. I turn back to the Doodlebug and, ditto, he's already back asleep. True, the Doodlebug wasn't spouting nonsense. But he will be. How do I know? Because right after he's fallen asleep, the Doodlebug makes these gurgling noises, babbles to himself, and then lets out a little laugh. The things I have to look forward to.

A Quiet Christmas

Even though we don't celebrate Christmas (although when the Doodlebug gets older, I'm looking forward to starting our own tradtion of Chinese food and a movie on Christmas day. Even though I don't like Chinese food, I can make an exception one day of the year. Yes, that's right, I'm the only Jew in America who doesn't like Chinese food, except for the occasional dim sum), I like Christmas day. The weather is generally just right for hanging out, watching DVDs, eating good food. I'm always sad when Christmas is over because that means the holiday season is winding down. I know many people despise the season, but starting in September (for me the season of holidays starts with the High Holidays, which segues into Halloween and then Thanksgiving and then it's Hanukkah and Christamas; New Year's, surprisingly, has never really done it for me. It always seems like such a sad end to happy season), I'm suckered into the holiday spirit. I love the smell of pine (which in our house comes in candle form), the Christmas carols (93.7 played them twenty-four hours a day, which drove Adam a bit crazy, but I listened anyway), the crass commercialization (hey, it's not my holiday! Okay, so my holiday is becoming commercialized too, but I won't go there). I dig egg nog lattes, mall Santa Claus, and the good mood everyone puts on. In Seattle, we got to end the holidays in style with a Football and Facials all-day brunch at Andy's house, but now, we have no real closer to the season. Perhaps we'll have to start our own.

Christmas morning in Boston had almost perfect Seattle weather: light rain, slight fog, cool (upper 40s, lower 50s). I've taken up running again, and I want to make it an absolute habit now while Adam is on winter break so that when he's back in school, I make the effort to keep it up. Once you start exercising, it's so hard to stop. In fact, the only thing that got me to stop exercising in the first place was my first trimester nausea (I still like to look at the Doodlebug and say, "Do you know why Mommy is so sore after her short run? Because she gave up running for over nine months because of you!"). So, I went for a Christmas morning run. I brought my MP3 player with me (speaking of which, I'm desperate for new running music. If you have a favorite pump-you-up song, let me know what it is so I can buy it off of I-Tunes or the like!) but it was so nice and quiet out that I didn't bother to turn it on. With so few cars out, I was able to run in the street (which is good because despite the warmish weather and all the rain there are still sidewalks that haven't been cleared of snow). The run was beautiful because the fog perfectly enmeshed all the light-filled trees and I could see into people's houses and in a few, they were gathered near their tree. The few folks out--a couple of joggers, a few dog walkers, a couple of kids on scooters and bikes that looked like they may have been Christmas gifts--were especially friendly. The main commercial area on Mass. Ave. was nearly empty, with just a few cars outside the small grocery that was open. I've never seen the street so empty. Of course, there were a few folks at Starbucks as well. Probably mostly tired parents who were up late assembling gifts. If every run could be like my Christmas morning run, I'd have no problems staying in shape.

Of course, just because we don't celebrate Christmas ourselves, doesn't mean we didn't get a lovely Christmas delivery of our own. The Doodlebug presented it to us in his diaper... and on his pajamas... and all up his back. I have a great picture of it but I won't post it because I realize that not all my readers are parents and therefore they may not take kindly to the photo, especially if they're in the middle of lunch (if you're a parent, then it's nothing that would gross you out).

As a reward, we decided to give him his "big" present early, mostly because 1) he doesn't do well with the 4 p.m. Hanukah exchange (which is when it's sundown here) and 2) Adam and I needed a break. I'm happy to report that one of our presents was finally a hit: the exersaucer. Oh, the Doodlebug didn't know where to go first on it and it allowed him to do his favorite thing: stand up. The bouncing, the toys, the noises! What a happy Doodlebug! And what a lovely opportunity for his parents to actually sit down. On their butts. For a whole eight minutes! All hail the glory and power of the exersaucer.

Wednesday, December 24

Sign of the Week

Adam, the Doodlebug, and I went to visit Adam's grandmother this week. On the drive there, we pass by lots of pawn shops. My favorite one (no, I haven't actually ever been in it) has a sign that reads, "Divorced? Separated? Sell your bad memories here."

No Substitutions

So, the Doodlebug is a little smarter than I had given him credit for. I would like the Doodlebug to take a pacifier. It would make mine and Adam's life infinitely easier if we could just plug that little guy up and have him drift off with a binky in his mouth. One of my mom friends suggested that, at night, since the Doodlebug likes to fall asleep as he nurses, that when he begins to drift off, I slowly pull his mouth off of me and quickly insert a pacifier, keeping him pressed up against me so he doesn't realize a switch was made. It would get him used to the pacifier. I tried it. I thought he was fully asleep, so I quickly gave him his pacifier. He continued to suck. And suck. But the sucking slowed a little. And then there was a pause. And another slow suck. And a pause. Another hesitant suck. His little brow furrowed. He took another suck. A loud one. And he slowly, ever so slowly, turned his head, and as he took another suck, I could see the tiny wheel in his head turning, as he thought, "Hey, I'm still sucking on something. But I know the breast doesn't move with me. My head moves, then I have nothing to suck on. Yet, I moved my head and there's still something in my mouth..."--even deeper furrows, wrinkling of eyes, scrunching of nose as the truth hits--"HEY, THAT'S NOT MY MOM'S BREAST!" And there go the screams and the wide-open eyes. And it's back to the beginning. But with no pacifier this time. I'm not training the Doodlebug; he's training me.

Instead of One Night of Presents, We Have Eight Crazy Nights

Hanukkah, this year, hasn't been a huge hit with the Doodlebug. He has the present market cornered--I think every gift in a fifty-mile radius went to him (and, no, it wasn't just me and Adam; in fact, for the most part, we were fairly low-key on the whole thing)--and yet, he hasn't been really moved. Oh, sure, he's mouthed most of his gifts (a new Doodlebug trick: anything that can be grabbed is brought to the mouth and gummed with gusto until he loses his grasp and then he looks for something else to grab and drool on), but every night when we go to light the candles, he gets this "So what" look on his face, and he seems to want the whole thing over with. I think the only thing that would make him happy with a present is if I gift-wrapped my breasts (oy, that's two references to breasts in today's entry; what kind of hits is that going to generate in my referrals log?). Tonight his present was for more for me than him: Baby Mozart. I figure if he likes TV so much, might as well give him something that won't harm him and that will give me fifteen minutes of peace (call me a bad mom. See what I care). We'll see if he likes the next two nights of gifts any better. I think he will because--don't tell him!--he's getting an exersaucer on the last night.

In previous years, Adam and I have had a large Hanukkah gathering where we invite pretty much everyone we know in town and made a butt-load of latkes. This year, it just wasn't going to happen, so instead, I just invited over four babies and their parents. It turned out to be a great gathering and all the babies were in a good mood. The food was good: Adam picked up sufganiyot and I made the latkes. The recipe I use comes from The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook, which makes amazing latkes. However, I think the book has a warped idea of how bad these potato pancakes really are because the recipe reads, add "3/4 cup corn oil (most of it cooks out)" as if each latke wasn't cooked in half a cup of oil. Our house still reeks of oil after three days.

Anyway, enjoy the last two nights of Hanukkah for those of you who celebrate it and the rest of you have a great Christmas, Solstice, or whatever else your holiday of choice is.

Wednesday, December 17

Beautiful Is Better Than Brainy Anyway

Thank goodness the Doodlebug is the cutest baby ever. Because he certainly isn't the smartest. He fell asleep on my lap, as he's wont to do, and at one point while I was reading my book, I felt this odd sensation. I looked down and saw that the Doodlebug was trying to latch onto my stomach in his sleep. He's also still furiously trying to insert his entire fist into his mouth. Sometimes, when that doesn't work, he'll try to insert both fists into his mouth simultaneously. I've told him that if he can put his entire fist in his mouth, I'll give him twenty bucks. If he can get both of them in there, then I'll up it to fifty bucks. He's taken the challenge seriously but has yet to succeed. I would also like to point out that as your typical overindulgent parent, I have bought the Doodlebug more than his fair share of "developmental toys" (they claim to help your child improve his skills; I think all they do is "develop" parents into major consumers) but what does he like to play with best? His burp clothes. Strip that baby naked on his changing table and give him a burp cloth to grab and gnaw on and he's the happiest person ever. I'm just relieved he has those good looks to trade on.

Ours Goes to 11

We live in a two-story house. The baby monitor is upstairs in our bedroom (since that's usually where the Doodlebug sleeps) and the receiver is downstairs in the living room. Our formerly softly mewling child is now so loud that we had him in the living room while we were trying to quiet his screams, and his cries still registered on the monitor as if he were in the upstairs bedroom. That's loud.

It Won't Feel So Good When He Gets Bigger...

When I was eleven, my mother got the family a cat (something my father is still gleeful about: my mother got the cat even though my father is a determined non-animal person; a couple years later, my mother developed a severe allergy to cats. It's the only thing that's ever happened that's made my father say, "Maybe there could be a God."). We named the cat Biskets (yes, spelled that way. Remember, I was eleven). When Biskets was a kitten, he'd nibble at my and the Tweedle Twirp's fingers. It felt so good, that little kitten gumming on my finger! My mother always said, "Don't let him learn to do that! You're training him that it's okay to bite you and soon, when he gets bigger, it'll hurt when he bites you." Of course, Tweeds and I didn't listen and, sure enough, Biskets got big, and his bites hurt! I think of this story now every time my son bites me. It's so cute and sweet the way he gums me to soothe himself, but soon those teeth will be coming in and I'll have to start smacking him with a newspaper.

And the Child Surpasses the Adult

I completely agree with the Academy of American Pediatrics that children under the age of two should not watch television. However, it's a well known fact that parents over the age of thirty tend to be exhausted by the day's end, and they are advised to consume copious amounts of television (preferably in the form of reality TV) to numb their pain. These two things are in conflict, though, when you have a child who won't let himself be put down in the evenings and who is downright fascinated by the TV and who will wriggle his way around to watch Sunday afternoon football and The O.C.

That said, on Monday I was tired. Just tired. The Doodlebug is very hands on when he's awake, requiring constant attention. He wants to be played with. Or he'll scream. And I just didn't have it in me for the sixth "Wheels on the Bus" or the twenty-seventh face game (this is where I point out all the parts of his face over and over and over--it's his favorite because when I get to the nose, I wave my fingers around and make a long "nnnnnn" sound before poking him in the nose, which always gets a gleeful smile). So I did it. I sat down (normally a big no-no with the Doodlebug) and I turned on The Teletubbies. Those of you who know me, know I'm actually a big fan of the 'Tubbies (those who don't know me can read my article on why I love them). Now, don't get me wrong: I had no intention of allowing television to babysit my child. This was a fully interactive experience with my commenting on everything we saw ("How many Pos do you see on the screen? There are five Pos. What color is Po? Why, he's red!"). Maybe the Doodlebug is a big fan of Dennis Miller, who says when describing what men want, "Don't talk to us while the television is on, all right? Very simple: Television is off, we talk. Television is on, we don't talk." But, more likely, it's a simple matter of my son having better taste than I do and he just doesn't like the Teletubbies. Every time that sun came on, the Doodlebug would start to cry. He got antsy at the bunnies. He found no joy in Tinky Winky's handbag. I should be proud and happy, but instead I'm depressed. Just one more thing I can cross off the list of "Ways to Soothe My Child." I bet the Doodlebug would love Jerry Springer. Could I...? Nah.

Fave Movies

Judith is collecting everyone's favorite book of 2003, which seems like a swell idea. If you've got a favorite book, go tell her.

I, however, am not that literary minded (I wish I were, but there's so little time to read these days). However, many of my evenings are now spent watching movies. Before the Doodlebug came and I was actually able to move around in the evenings, Adam and I rented maybe two movies a month. Now that evenings mean a sleeping Doodlebug on my lap, we're up to about three rentals a week. So, it finally made sense to join Netflix. Of course, that means I now have to have a whole list of movies I need to keep updated so I can make sure movies are always flowing in. To that end, I'd like to ask all of you what the best movie you saw in 2003 was (not necessarily a movie that was released in 2003--just the movie [rental or theatrical] that you liked best). If you have a favorite, stick in the comments, and I'll add it to my Netflix queue.

New Experiences

You just haven't lived untill you've taken a pointy rubber bulb and tried to stick it up the nose of a very squirmy baby in order to suck out all the elusive snot that you can hear up there but that doesn't want to make its exit on its own. Personally, it's just too much fun for me, so Adam has been designated the official Snot Sucker of the family.

You Think You Know Someone...

Adam and I have been together for about three and a half years now. And I thought I knew him pretty well. But apparently, there are still things to learn:
  • Adam can pee on demand. How did I not know this? We had a physical for our insurance (yes, we're old: we have life insurance now) and when I reminded him that he'd need to pee for the nurse, he said, "No problem, I can pee on demand." Is this something all boys can do? Or is my husband special?
  • He has no faith in my personal hygiene. After giving my sample (which, for the record, I cannot do on demand and needed to down copious amounts of water to produce), I came out of the bathroom to take the Doodlebug so Adam could be tested, and Adam asked me, "Did you wash your hands?" Thanks for your confidence. And, duh, yes.
  • He thinks he's hip. Stop, laughing, I'm serious! He was showing the Doodlebug pictures of the Tweedle Twirp and her boyfriend, the Tweedle Twin. He told the Doodlebug, "When you're older and we're no longer hip, the Tweedle Twins will be your link to hipness." Um, "no longer" said the man who sits home with me on Saturday nights watching The O.C. on Replay?

Wednesday, December 10

The B-Boy

Monday was Adam's birthday. Originally, we thought about going out, but between our screaming Doodlebug and all the snow, we decided to stay in. I cooked a lovely dinner for us... and we took turns eating it. The Doodlebug demanded to be held so Adam ate while I held and then Adam held while I ate. It wasn't high in the rankings of romantic dinners, but it's our new life, and it's worth it, even if I only get to eat my meal while it's hot half the time now.

He Likes Me! He Really, Really Likes Me!

blogging with the DoodlebugEveryone wants to be loved. Especially by the cutest baby ever. But it can be frustrating when you're the only one the cutest baby loves. Don't get me wrong, he still coos and smiles and flirts with Adam. But the Doodlebug has a clear preference for me. When Adam's holding him, the Doodlebug's looking for me. When the Doodlebug starts his regular evening scream (and it is regular now, o joy of joys), Adam can try for over an hour to quiet him. He rocks, he gives him a finger to suck on, he paces, he rubs. Nada. Then, within one minute of transferring the Doodlebug to my arms, silence. As long as I'm holding the Doodlebug, all is quiet (I can't, of course, put him down; that would never work. In fact, even now, once again, I'm bloggin' with the Doodlebug asleep on my lap). I'm torn between feeling happy that my Doodlebug wants me and miserable because no one is able to regularly put him to sleep, which means I'll be more reluctant to leave him. Naps are bad, too: He'll only sleep if we're out of the house (there are only so many errands I can do) or if I lay down with him. You know, in the beginning, I swore I'd never let my child cry it out. Now, I swear, six months to the day, we're Ferberizing. Here's to hoping he gets with the sleeping program on his own by then.

Goodbye Green

We've seen the last of our lawn till April. Our first snow storm of the year--and it's still fall, mind you--and we got about twenty-eight inches. Luckily, I had thought to go to the video store, so we had a cozy weekend in.

Just What You Need to Pick Up Your Husband's Viagra

The other day, running an errand at Walgreens with the Doodlebug, what do we spot in the parking lot? As if we could miss it. A Hummer. It took up half the parking lot (which Walgreens shares with Trader Joes, which just screams "Hummer," doesn't it?). Behind the wheel was just another suburban woman. We live in Arlington, for goodness' sake. There isn't a dirt road, never mind desert or wilderness, to drive upon for miles and miles and miles. Why do you need a Hummer to pick up your vitamins and hair color? Please. These people should just wear signs that read, "I'm tough. And rich, too. And I have a tiny dick." It's much more to the point.

The Sounds of Not-Even-Close-to Silence

WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY? I'M SORRY, I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER... Oh, wait, that's better. Ah, silence. Oops, I spoke too soon. Because when the vacuum cleaner goes off, the Doodlebug goes on. The Doodlebug loves his white noise. And the fastest silencer is our vacuum cleaner (and here I thought we had bought it for our new carpet. Turns out we bought it for our new baby). But our vacuum cleaner is a loud mutha and it annoys me to no end to have it on. And since I can only vacuum the upstairs so many times (downstairs is hardwood floors), I end up just turning the vacuum cleaner on its side and letting it go. Adam plans on recording it, but I have little hope that a CD recording will perform the magic of the real live Hoover. (And hey, added bonus, it picks up dirt, too.)

Can't You Think of a New Song?

There's more to Seattle than Starbucks and Nirvana. Yet anytime Seattle is shown on television, there's a flash of Starbucks beneath the sounds of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." People, Seattle's moved on. Can you?

Lifestyle for Sale

I know that the point of catalogs (and advertising in general) is to make you long for a different lifestyle. But it doesn't normally work for me. Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware offer sumptuous homes that can be yours for just a gazillion dollars. (Remember that episode of Friends when Rachel decorated Phoebe's apartment in all Pottery Barn furniture but has to lie about it because Phoebe hates the yuppified store; Phoebe of course ends up loving the stuff.) But those lives don't appeal to me. However, there is one catalog whose life I covet: Levengers. Don't get me wrong; there's nothing in that catalog I actually want. I just want to be the kind of person who would use the things in its catalog. I want to have the kind of life where I dip my pen in an inkwell as I write in my leather journal, lounging in my reading chair. As I write about my worldly adventures, I'd consult my globe, and then, when I was done, I'd play my leather Scrabble set with my family. Perhaps, someday, that's the kind of life we'll lead. But for now, I've got to go help Adam clean the poop out of the sofa (and, oh, I wish I were kidding about that, but I'm not).

Cows for a Cause

Shannon is part of a knitblogging group that has decided to pool their resources for donations to Heifer. So go ahead! Help the knitbloggers buy some sheep and llamas for folks who can use them!

Wednesday, December 3

Family Time

It's always dangerous to write about people who are going to read your blog, but how could I not comment on my family's trip up to see us for Thanksgiving. As always, Tweeds was a great sport, and she, without complaint, slept on an Aerobed on the nursery floor as my parents got the guest room (at what point does the room switch from a nursery to a bedroom? Is it totally literal--when the Doodlebug switches to a bed? Or can it be a bedroom before that?). My father was his usual self: high maintenance in denial (he thinks he's easy going) with lots of wit. And then there was my mom. I'd like to quote all family members equally, but it's so hard when my mom is visiting. My mom is the Gracie Allen of our family and everyone else is her straight man. I mean what else can you say about woman who can give you the exact vintage of a Diet Coke (and she can detect the subtle variation in a Diet Coke that's past its prime, a distinction no mere mortal palette could tell). A woman who says, "Mmm, I'd love a Dunkin Donut to go with my Diet Coke." (Blech!) A woman who, while playing a family game of Trivial Pursuit, answers "Teddy Roosevelt" because she forgot she was playing with the '60s version. However, I can't mention any of these things because then my mom might think I was picking on her. So let's just say it was quiet, uneventful trip. No need to disrupt the family peace.

Talkin' Turkey

How many times can you say that your main course weighs more than your son? The Doodlebug is weighing in at a hefty 14 pounds, but that was featherweight compared to our 17.69 pound turkey. And my oh my what a turkey it was. Once again, my sous chef, aka the Tweedle Twirp, helped me in the kitchen, while others entertained the Doodlebug, and we created a feast extraordinaire. I wasn't sure we could pull it off with the wee one--and truthfully I ended the day more frazzled than I have in year's past--but we had a scrumptious feast for eleven. Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday.

One-Handed Blogging

The Doodlebug has done some serious regressing (which could be good; apparently when developmental progress is made, babies can slide elsewhere) and is back to only sleeping when we're out of the house or when he's on someone. Adam worked for over an hour to get the Doodlebug down before giving up. Within two minutes of lying on me, he (the Doodlebug, that is, not Adam) was fast asleep. So I'm trying to blog with the Doodlebug in one arm and the laptop sitting on my lap. It's very slow going so this week's blog entry may be shorter than usual.

I Found My Love at the Five and Ten Cent Store

Arlington Heights has an old-fashioned five and dime, Balich's. A five and dime that I imagine must have flourished in the 1950s. I can't fathom how it stays in business now, but it's been there for ages. It's the perfect place to wander on a cloudy day when you have a baby who just won't settle down (not that I ever have a baby who won't settle down). The aisles are packed with things piled on the floor. Bins are filled with candies (individual fire balls, anyone?) and bubble gum cigarettes. Sewing notions and hair wraps from my grandmother's generation. Toys, kitchen drawer liners, Pooh Bear glasses, tools, turkey cookie cutters, happy birthday banners, staples, pots, you name it, it's there. An old man works the counter and all the prices are hand written on items. I thought about doing all my holiday shopping there but then decided I'd like it a lot more than my recipients. I really didn't have a point in blogging about it, but it made an impression on me--a mini time warp on bleak day--so there you are.